I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages and ages….but recipes and ideas kept getting in the way and I end up writing those up instead! This is also not a very 'pretty post' as I didn't have many nice images of prep'd ingredients to hand, however it is non-the-less an important post as it provides a backdrop to how I work and simply helps to streamline everything in day to day life.
I am of course talking about simple preparations that can be made in advance to make mealtimes, quick snacks and baking that much more straightforward and efficient.
These are some of the things I prepare in advance:
Apple puree: cooked and blended smooth then frozen in 50g portions- great for mug cakes and other bakes.
Coconut butter: I always have a tub of homemade coconut butter in the cupboard.
Cashew butter: This is another great store cupboard essential as it can be used for cashewmilks, creams and frostings within seconds.
Bananas: bananas on the verge of being too ripe are great cut into chuncks for freezing. Simply thaw and mash to use in baking or use in the frozen form for chilled smoothies and ice creams.
Chickpeas and other beans: I soak and cook these from dried (I ususally use 500g dried weight) in a huge saucepan and then freeze them in 150g portions ready for add-ins to soups and cakes!
Lentils: another great one for soups but also for these meatballs. I tend to freeze lentils in 150g portions also.
Dips: I make dips in a big batch and them freeze them in ‘dollops’- see this post for more info.
Pesto: Homemade pesto frozen in ice cube trays.
Quinoa: steamed (or boiled) and frozen quinoa is another great timesaver, adding a super healthy addition to a last minute meal or salad.
Smoosh bars-These smoosh bars are so quick and easy to make anyway, but I like to make a big batch and freeze anything over a weeks worth (so I don’t gobble them down too quickly!)
Soups- this may sound obvious but whenever I make soup for myself I always make 4 portions worth and freeze the remainder for super speedy meals.
Green smoothies…I am working on a frozen concentrate version of this off the back of my 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge (yet to be revealed)!
|...all bagged up and ready for the freezer!|
Freezing things in small portions makes them so much more straightforward to use within any given recipe. Also if you have a large blender or processor it is often difficult to prepare just a tiny portion and you actually achieve better results by whipping up a bigger batch and then storing the remainder.
There are probably lots things I’ve left off this list, and also plenty of other things you will think of to add yourself. I encourage you to take 5 minutes to have a think about the kinds of ingredients you most use, particularly those used in small portions, and then also the size of the portions you would most regularly use. If they are suitable for freezing….whip and a batch and do it!
Every month or so, I take a few hours at a weekend to replenish any depleted stocks….it is one of the most frustrating things in life to be part way through a recipe only to realise you have no apple puree left!